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Home Depot focuses on supply chain, Internet

BY Dan Berthiaume

Atlanta — Executives from The Home Depot told attendees at an analyst meeting in New York on Monday that the company is focusing on improving its supply chain and Internet operations and expects a moderate recovery in the U.S. housing market. Roughly $450 million of Home Depot’s $1.5 billion capital spending budget for the current fiscal year is slated for IT projects.

In addition, Home Depot is also attempting to improve store productivity and is piloting five paint stores in the Chinese market.

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Americans report fewer financial troubles

BY Staff Writer

Yonkers, N.Y. – American consumers are reporting significantly fewer financial troubles than any time in the past three years, according to the Consumer Reports Index. The Index’s trouble tracker index, which measures the proportion of consumers that have faced difficulties as well as the number of negative financial events they have encountered, dropped from 41.7 in April to 34 in May. This is the lowest trouble tracker score since Consumer Reports began reporting it in April 2009 and more than 50% below its all-time high score of 68.7 in September 2009.

The greatest drop in financial difficulties over the past 30 days was among those in households earning less than $50,000, followed by the most affluent in homes earning $100,000 or more. Middle-income Americans experienced a slight rise in financial troubles.

"The data offers a glimpse that consumers may be starting to see and feel the progress of the economic recovery," said Ed Farrell, director of consumer insight at the Consumer Reports National Research Center.

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CEO search for OfficeMax, Office Depot merged co. underway

BY CSA STAFF

OfficeMax and Office Depot have tapped global talent management consultancy Korn/Ferry International to assist the CEO selection committee in finding a CEO for the combined company in the pending merger.

Dennis Carey, vice chairman of Korn/Ferry International, is leading the search. The CEO selection committee is co-chaired by Office Depot board member Nigel Travis, chairman and CEO of Dunkin’ Brands and OfficeMax board member Jim Marino, former president and CEO of Alberto Culver Company.

The committee and Korn/Ferry will consider incumbent CEOs Neil Austrian of Office Depot and Ravi Saligram of OfficeMax as well as external candidates. Both incumbents will remain in their current positions through the search process, which is anticipated to be completed at or prior to the close of the merger.

OfficeMax and Office Depot entered into an agreement earlier this year to combine their companies in a merger of equals. The transaction is expected to close by the end of calendar year 2013, subject to stockholder approval from both companies, the receipt of regulatory approvals and the satisfaction of other customary closing conditions.

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